I’ve been wanting to write a post (or series of posts) about diversity in the film and television industry for some time now. And so, in recent weeks when the majority of the general public were been suddenly exposed to this long-standing issue, after Jade-Pickett and Will Smith decided to decline their invitations to the upcoming academy awards, opinions have been tossed left, right and centre about their decision. I personally feel it’s extremely brave and noble for them to stand up for what they believe in and I also want to draw your attention to why they actually declined to attend as spoken by Will Smith himself;
“[For] my part, I think I have to protect and fight for the ideals that make our country and our Hollywood community great…..and so when I look at the series of nominations of the Academy, it’s not reflecting that beauty.”
“There’s a regressive slide toward separatism, towards racial and religious disharmony and that’s not the Hollywood that I want to leave behind.”
I’m not writing this post in retaliation to these specific actions, but neither am I exactly happy about the current situation for the so-called, ‘minorities’, in the industry. As a young woman hoping to enter into this industry it does disappoint me that we still seem to live in a patriarchal-dominated society.
Yes I am in agreement with Will Smith and his family; it’s not right that there isn’t a single non-white male nominated for any of the categories. However, aside from the best actress/supporting actress categories, the female nominees recognised by the academy only seem to be nominated in the more stereotypically ‘feminine’ categories (i.e costume design & hair & make-up).
When I look at best cinematography, best sound editing or frankly any of the technical roles, there is only one female I can spot who has been nominated (Margaret Sixel for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’). I find this to be just a little uninspiring, as someone who would much rather get to grips with digital filmmaking and the technology involved in this.
Overall I find all of this to be incredibly backward of the academy; but what I really wanted to convey to you who have bothered to read this far, is that none of this reflects the amount of potential female filmmakers who sit with me in my Film & TV Production classes everyday. We all eagerly listen to our lecturers, just like the surprisingly few white male students and dream of an amazing career in this ever-growing industry.
Finally I’ll leave with you with something a head of department said to me when I was being interviewed for a place at a university;
“I think its great that a young lady is trying to become a camerawoman-sorry camera operator in this industry – good for you!“
Need I say more?!